Married at First Sight British star Thomas Hartley has revealed his battle with mental health.
The 31-year-old mental health assistant shared a candid post showing off his incredible transformation after leaving “a very abusive and drug and alcohol driven relationship” and working on his body and mind.
In his moving post, Thomas urged fans to talk about their struggles and never “give up.”
“In case you haven’t read my story, I just got out of a very abusive and drug and alcohol driven relationship,” he wrote.
“I’ve always suffered from an element of mental health, like most people. I’ve incorporated the gym and although I’ve made a physical change, I also use the gym and exercise as medicine.
He added: “If you can, do it. Do not give up. Always speak.’
Last week he told MailOnline he was in an abusive relationship with a man who would lock him in the house and give him drugs.
The 31-year-old mental health assistant has entertained viewers of the E4 show with his sunny personality and hilarious one-liners, but in an exclusive chat with MailOnline he revealed it took years of therapy to get to a point where he’s can accept yourself.
During a commitment ceremony on the show, Thomas hinted at his troubled past and admitted he had been verbally and physically abused.
He has now decided to publish his story in hopes it will reduce the unjustified stigma surrounding domestic violence and encourage other victims to speak up.
Thomas was 23 when he began secretly dating an older man because his partner had not yet come out as gay.
Coming out to his family received a “nasty” reception, with Thomas revealing it made him feel like his partner’s “only lifeline”.
Before meeting him, Thomas was only in a relationship with a man who forbade him from seeing his friends and family to exercise control.
Despite being left with a fear of commitment and an unhealthy attitude towards love, he went into his next relationship believing that things would be different.
But the romance quickly deteriorated, and Thomas admitted he felt pressured to take drugs because his partner was a prolific user.
He admitted: “I didn’t really know what to do. He was a lot older than me and I was far from home so I didn’t see much of my family and I didn’t have a lot of support around me.
After being forced to drink heavily and do drugs, the abuse worsened, with Thomas revealing he was being coerced into sex by his partner.
Thomas recalled, “He used to say, ‘I’ll get you all that, aren’t you grateful?’ and that’s when the sexual things happened.
“I was really uncomfortable and really exhausted. He always took me with him and picked me up from work and was there the whole time. The only time I got away was at work but even then he was waiting for me outside so I couldn’t say anything.
“I just felt a shell of who I was. I would go home and there would be drugs, drinking, cooking, cleaning and then being forced to have sex with him. He was rude to me and said, “You have to do this to me, it’s your job, that’s why you’re here, look at this life I’ve given you.”
“There was so much and I just thought if I do it, it’s over.”
The abuse would take place even when his partner was not at home.
Thomas revealed that if his friend went to work, he would lock him in the house and send cocaine through the mailbox.
While the abuse continued for seven months, Thomas confessed, “Looking back on everything it feels like it happened in one day, it almost felt normal to be abused like that because it was so routine.”